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Battery Days 2023: Two-day event marks German-Dutch collaboration on new generation batteries

Written by Battery Competence Cluster-NL

Written by Battery Competence Cluster-NL

The Battery Days 2023 took place on 9 and 10 November. A two-day event that has strengthened cooperation between the Netherlands and Germany in the field of education, research and development in the next generation of batteries. The two-day conference was organized by the Battery Competence Cluster - NL in collaboration with Twente Board and Fraunhofer Research Institution for Battery Cell Production

Cooperation and innovation with North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The first day of Battery Days 2023 took place on the premises of the University of Twente and  focused on research, design and production of the next generation of batteries on both sides of the border. In addition to prominent Dutch speakers, German scientists and companies were also present to strengthen this collaboration, especially from the Münster region. Jeroen Heijs, Deputy Director of Innovation & Knowledge at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, opened the first day: "The Netherlands has an international perspective and a strong battery ecosystem. Our network of companies, knowledge institutions and governments offers opportunities to strengthen cooperation with Germany. A collaboration that is already showing great successes in battery technology and the battery value chain on the way to a sustainable future."

Festive moment

A notable highlight was the symbolic final approval of the National Growth Fund proposal "Material Independence and Circular Batteries", submitted by Battery Competence Cluster - NL (BCC-NL). This proposal, developed in collaboration with more than 60 companies and knowledge institutions, aims to make the Netherlands less dependent on scarce and critical raw materials for batteries and to take advantage of the opportunities in the battery industry. Heijs indicated that many National Growth Fund proposals had been submitted. This proposal has actually received funding because it makes the Netherlands less dependent when it comes to raw materials for batteries, has a strong ecosystem, ensures international cooperation and makes a good contribution to the Dutch economy.

Rutger van Poppel, program manager of BCC-NL, explained how the budget is being used to create a strategic position at various positions in the battery value chain. The focus should be on the existing strengths of the Dutch battery ecosystem. With confidence, based on the unique competencies and companies in the Netherlands, we can focus on specific sectors where batteries become necessary. Van Poppel indicated that in the coming years, even more companies will be able to join the program through open calls.

With confidence, based on the unique competencies and companies in the Netherlands, we can focus on specific sectors where batteries become necessary.

Energy storage creates value and opportunities

Margien Storm van Leeuwen, of Energy Storage NL, explained the role of energy storage in the short and long term. Due to trends such as grid congestion, independence from Russian gas and fluctuations in energy prices, energy storage is becoming increasingly important. Enormous growth in energy storage is therefore foreseen, also abroad, which offers opportunities for Dutch companies. Wouter IJzermans of the Batteries European Partnership Association (BEPA) then outlines the possibilities of cooperation through the European battery community and the financing opportunities for this from Europe.

Expert sessions

Three workshops were planned in the afternoon. In the deep dive on the scaling of the production of new generation batteries, E-Magy talked about their strategy to meet the challenges that lithium-ion battery anodes face. They are focusing on nano-porous silicon anodes. This brings the goal of clean, electrically powered mobility a big step closer. In their silicon scale-up strategy, LeydenJar first focusses on drones and wearables.

The second expert session was about stationary batteries or batteries that can realize energy storage for longer periods. Various innovations were presented, such as those from Elestor, Aquabattery and Exergy, and together with the audience they discussed what the future should look like and the role that the government should play in stimulating the right future perspective.  

Holland Circular Hotspot also launched the brochure 'Circular Batteries Charging the Future' This includes a bundling of all companies and initiatives around circular batteries. A wonderful collection of export-worthy products and services that endorse Dutch innovativeness.

Pitches from startups

The full day ended with four startups pitching their new product or idea to the audience. Greeny Energy, Chargehyve, E-Lyte Innovations GmbH and INNER were able to count on many questions and new connections from the audience. "I had a lot of interesting conversations with potential customers and suppliers. And I had the chance to attend relevant panel discussions. There is not really a border between the Netherlands and Germany. We are very much looking forward to working with our Dutch colleagues," says Joschua Helmer from E-Lyte Innovations GmbH.

Münster (DE) - Innovative visits

On Friday, the second day of Battery Days 2023, Dutch interested parties were given the unique opportunity to visit  the MEET Battery Research Center of the University of Münster and the Fraunhofer Research Institute for Battery Cell Production (FFB).

These exclusive visits have provided valuable insights into the most recent developments in battery research and manufacturing.

Watch the aftermovie of the Battery Days 2023